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Publication Detail
Exhumation history of the higher Himalayan Crystalline along Dhauliganga-Goriganga river valleys, NW India: New constraints from fission track analysis
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Patel RC, Carter A
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New apatite and zircon fission track data collected from two transects along the Dhauliganga and Goriganga rivers in the NW Himalaya document exhumation of the Higher Himalayan Crystalline units. Despite sharing the same structural configuration and rock types and being separated by only 60 km, the two study areas show very different patterns of exhumation. Fission track (FT) data from the Dhauliganga section show systematic changes in age (individual apatite FT ages range from 0.9 ± 0.3 to 3.6 ± 0.5 Ma, r 2 = 0.82) that record faster exhumation across a zone that extends from the Main Central Thrust to north of the Vaikrita thrust. By contrast, FT results from the Goriganga Valley show a stepwise change in ages across the Vaikrita thrust that suggests Quaternary thrust sense displacement. Footwall samples yield a weighted mean apatite age of 1.6 ± 0.1 Ma compared to 0.7 ± 0.04 Ma in the hanging wall. A constant zircon fission track age of 1.8 ± 0.4 Ma across both the footwall and hanging wall shows the 0.9 Ma difference in apatite ages is due to movement on the Vaikrita thrust that initiated soon after ∼1.8 Ma. The Goriganga section provides clear evidence for >1 Ma of tectonic deformation in the brittle crust that contrasts with previous exhumation studies in other areas of the high Himalaya ranges; these studies have been unable to decouple the role of climate erosion from tectonics. One possibility why there is a clear tectonic signal in the Goriganga Valley is that climate erosion has not yet fully adjusted to the tectonic perturbation. Citation: Patel, R. C, and A. Carter (2009), Exhumation history of the Higher Himalayan Crystalline along Dhauliganga-Goriganga river valleys, NW India: New constraints from fission track analysis. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
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